Samsung has announced its newest phone in its Galaxy line, the S20. With it comes an upgrade to the Galaxy camera system that is in line with the current smartphone trend: more lenses.
There are three models of the S20 announced, each one with varying camera systems. The better the model, the more lenses and better lenses you get. The base-level S20 has three lenses on the back which include a 12MP Ultra Wide Camera, a 12MP Wide-angle Camera, and a 64MP Telephoto Camera. The S20+ model has the same cameras with an added Depth Camera, which is used for photographs.
The most expensive model, the S20 Ultra, which could cost you just over $1,400 upfront, has a similar camera system. It has all the same cameras as the S20+, but the Wide-angle lens (which is what video is shot on mostly, is increased to 108MP (quite the improvement from 12). The Telephoto Camera on this model decreases from the S20+ to 48. The Wide-angle megapixels make it possible to zoom in on images more without getting the destruction of the image that we are used to with most smartphone cameras. Additionally, the S20 Ultra records video in 8K -- that's 8 times HD.
The camera system though is not where the new video features end. Samsung has improved its in-camera stabilization updating AI to smooth video similar to a gimbal. Additionally, they are introducing new and improved editing features right in the camera app to allow you to not only edit a single clip, but also multiple clips, add transitions, graphics, and music -- all the things you'd usually need separate editing software to do. Based on the photos it seems to be pretty simple so it probably won't make editing apps obsolete, but it certainly is an interesting development.
The message with this new phone is simple. The reason people buy these phones is not for the phone or texting, or even the apps, but for the camera, and more and more people are using those cameras to make videos. They know it's the cameras and video features that keep people upgrading their phones. Let's be honest, aside from small changes, the cameras are the key features they roll out with each new phone model. Now the question is will people continue to pay $1,000+ for that.
Check out all the details from Samsung.